Summary ¶ The Fall of the Roman Empire 109

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What caused the fall of Rome Since Gibbon's day scholars have hotly debated the uestion come up with the answers ranging from blood poisoning to immorality In recent years however the most likely explanation has been neglected wasn'. Professor Ferrill has written a historical treatise about the fall of the Western Roman Empire from a military perspective It's not a long book but it is very through In chapter one he briefly examines other theories regarding the fall of the western Roman Empire and pointedly demolishes them It's his thesis that the main reason was a military failure on the part of the Romans For the remainder of the book Professor Ferrill then precedes to competently support his thesis The result is a classic scholarly work with illustrations maps line drawings and photos bibliography and end notes The book is written for both the lay person as well as the specialist meaning it's accessible and lacking that clinical Academia attitude that is sometimes found in scholarly writing If I can find any real fault with Professor Ferrill's book it would be that he's too focused on the military explanation Armies do not exist in a vacuum The societies that they protect and sometimes repress feed and support those very armies If one is going then the other will inevitably follow Look at it as a variation of the chicken and egg uestion Ferrill presents a strong case that the primary reasons was military but he only gives only cursory aknowledgement to the fact that by the fifth century the Empire was experiencing very serious problems with population decline disease falling birthrates etc economic collapse rampant inflation large tracts of land not being used political anarchy and just an overall malaise that was both a product of the before mentioned factors as well as a cause don't you hate that type of description It can be argued even if the Roman Army had been able to hold the line the Empire would have ended simply because of old age All things built by Humans are mortal after all However I have to admit that what I'm really doing is just me getting my own opinion into the mixI can hear a voice in my head telling me that if I think I have a case then I should write my own damn book and shut up well put So back to my review Professor Ferrill's The Fall of the Roman Empire is a competent work in which he ably supports his thesis That's just how his peers taught me to do it when I was a history student at Boise State University Class 1990 many years ago In the end that's the only thing that matters Agree or not agree Professor Ferrill got the job done

Summary The Fall of the Roman Empire

The Fall of the Roman EmpireT it above all else a military collapse Prof Ferrill believes it was puts forth his case in this provocative bookPrefaceThe decline fall of RomeThe grand strategy of the Roman empireCrises on the frontiers in the 4th century Theodos. Read this a supplementary reading for Yale's Brady Johnson Program in Grand Strategy The basic thrust of this book it to get down to the detail as to why the Western Empire collapsed from a military perspective It boils down to1 A shift from perimeter defense to a mobile strike force cheaper to maintain which allowed barbarians to invade and settle on the Roman side of the Danube and Rhine2 Barbarization of the Roman army By the end of the 4th Century the Roman army was a shadow of its former self having lost the discipline and training to fight in close formation and the recruitment of barbarians The army ceased to use armor suare shields could not march as far could not fight in formation3 A shift to cavalry infantry wins battles as the infantry declined cavalry became the elite units but were less effective

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Summary ¶ The Fall of the Roman Empire 109 Ò What caused the fall of Rome Since Gibbon's day scholars have hotly debated the uestion come up with the answers ranging from blood poisoning to immorality In recent years however the most likely explanation has been neglected wasn't it above all else a military collapse Prof Ferrill believes iIus the great AD 378 395The turning point AD 406 410The grand strategy of the western Roman empire in the early 5th centuryAetius the vandals the HunsThe fall of RomeTable of EmperorsNotesSelect BibliographyIllustration CreditsIndex. This book is a self conscious defense of the thesis that the Western Roman Empire fell primarily as a conseuence of the degeneration of its military against all comers This collapse Ferrill goes on to specify was primarily a result of the 'barbarization' of the Roman army their prior successes being substantially the result of maintaining a a superior infantry the result of drill and discipline b superior systems of supply c superior siegecraft d naval superiority The barbarization of the military was itself the result of a a decline in training b increasing reliance on barbarian auxiliaries In addition Ferrill critiues gradualists like Brown who ualify the proposition that we can determine an approximate date for the fall of Rome